reflection

parenthood: chapter 9

happy april!

baby boy i will refer to him as hank from here on out as that is what his initials sound out haha turned nine months two saturdays ago and we continue to be grateful for the time God has blessed us with him. saturday there was a remembrance walk put on by now i lay me down to sleep near our house. keith and i decided to check it out since we heard about it last minute. seeing babies who had passed at various stages made me kiss hank all over and thank God even more. it also made me miss isaac all the more and the rest of the weekend i spent time looking through old photos and videos of our last days with him. this will forever be our normal.

this month has been challenging for me, i realized yesterday. i spend my whole day thinking of ways to socialize or entertain hank, trying to just make my house not look like a war zone, and trying to figure out how i am going to get a weeks worth of groceries while pushing around an itty bitty stroller. but when asked what do i want to do, i feel selfish, i feel unreasonable, for even knowing what i want let alone asking for what i want.

no one is putting the pressure on me except for myself. i find it hard to treat myself and take care of myself well, and i find it even harder to ask for it when there are more bigger priorities that need to be fulfilled. my son’s needs or my husband’s needs just automatically trump mine because i feel so vital to their success. of course i am not that vital, but it feels almost necessary for me to believe that because i am struggling to find my purpose apart from the role of mother and wife. i feel trapped somehow.

i have no thoughts as far as how to break out of this mindset, but am also not looking for a way to escape the process.

how were you able to overcome the guilt of taking care of yourself while still taking care of your family?

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parenthood: chapter 5

where do i even begin?

the sleep regression continues to be touch and go, so i won’t even spend anymore time on that issue and just end the topic with to be continued

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the time has flown so fast this month because i realize how few pictures i took of lil man during his fifth month until the end. this month was a big month for him too! we started it off with immunizations right before his first plane ride to visit the in-laws. a few days before we left for our trip, he finally mastered rolling from back to front while napping one day unfortunately he hasn’t mastered front to back so it was quite humorous to find him in distress over how to get back on his side.

he handled the flight well except for the decent due to the pressure in his ears and he would not feed or suck on a pacifier. he just wanted off that plane. his aunts, uncles, and cousins ate him up and he responded with smiles and squeals. he got his first taste of the city although its generally pretty calm on the weekends. he brought a smile to every face that encountered him both in the company of friends and on the street. Yes his nap times were way off to which i am sure we are paying for it dearly now but for the most part i think he enjoyed the stimulation.

now that we are back and settling into the stillness of our lives once again, i can see the benefits of him interacting with babies his age. the day after we got back, lil man started testing out his legs and made the first attempts to crawl! most of the people i know have toddlers or school aged children so it makes play time a bit challenging. but i think this coming month i want to challenge myself to get out more now that its getting cooler and explore more with my son and interact with those around me.

as for me, this has been a big month too. i finally started counseling to work not only through my grief but also through the many fractures in my world that have affected how i respond and react now. it has been overwhelming as i feel as soon as i start to see a part of myself more clearly, i see how much more stuff is still unpacked and waiting to be looked over. i know i will be better for it in the long run, but it doesn’t make the process any easier or more enjoyable.

all in all, i still feel like i am dreaming. not sure when that feeling will subside. baby boy is growing so fast and learning so much about the world, that it doesn’t seem like enough time to really take in the fact that he is here.

Parenthood: Chapter 4

If I had it in me to torture my worst enemy, I would probably choose for them to endure the four month sleep regression. It is slow. and it is painful.

As Keith and I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel of sleepless nights, we were smacked in the face with yet another road block: extended wake times and sleep regression.

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I was less frustrated this time (but still a little peeved that this little person seemed to be toying with me and the hope that seemed to be dangling off of a cliff). I think I was more frantic that I was losing the groove I was beginning to establish with his sleeping schedule. Not only that, as soon as I thought he was okay with me leaving him to play by himself, he suddenly grew fussy and clingy for no explicable reason.

But in the midst of the mild stress it brought me, I could not help but watch my son in adoration as he discovered something new about himself. The way he explored his own movement, slowly moving his fingers slowly above him. Insisting on sitting up so that he could reach for something in front of him. Everything was new to him, abilities I take for granted.

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I cheered him on as he tried to roll over without assistance and encouraged him when he grew frustrated at a failed attempt. I knew that feeling. I also knew how hard I am on myself when I fail. I knew I didn't want to pass that on to my son. I scooped him up into my arms and would tell him that his trying was excellent and that we would try again later. Part of me was telling myself those same words.

I believe that the Spirit inside of each of us both young and old is ageless and filled with the knowledge of the universe and so it comes as no surprise that God uses the tiny movements of infants to both humble us, as well as administer his grace through them.